Thro' grief and thro' danger thy smile hath cheered my way,
Till hope seemed to bud from each thorn that round me lay;
The darker our fortune, the brighter our pure love burned,
Till shame into glory, till fear into zeal was turned;
Yes, slave as I was, in thy arms my spirit felt free,
And blest even the sorrows that made me more dear to thee.
Thy rival was honored, while thou wert wronged and scorned,
Thy crown was of briers, while gold her brows adorned;
She wooed me to temples, while thou lay'st hid in caves,
Her friends were all masters, while thine, alas! were slaves;
Yet cold in the earth, at thy feet, I would rather be,
Than wed what I loved not, or turn one thought from thee.
They slander thee sorely, who say thy vows are frail--
Hadst thou been a false one, thy cheek had looked less pale.
They say, too, so long thou hast worn those lingering chains,
That deep in thy heart they have printed their servile stains--
Oh! foul is the slander,--no chain could that soul subdue--
Where shineth thy spirit, there liberty shineth too!